In this part of the world, the arrival of rainfall always heralds blessings as it provides much needed nourishment for plants to grow and it also soothes the effect of heat on the general populace. But for the crowd at #GidiFest2017, it was a curse.
The weeks before Gidi Fest 2017 was to start saw a blitz of adverts and promotional materials for the show. NAIJ.com as Nigeria's leading news website was a media partner for the event. The organizers (Eclipse Live led by Chin Okeke) left no stone unturned as they made sure a large majority of Lagosians were at the entertainment festival.
Top acts like Simi, Falana, Nneka, Reekado Banks, Kenyan group Sauti Sol, Tanzanian songstress Vanessa Mdee, Burna Boy, Davido and international DJ and record producer Diplo had been booked to perform so fans where already hyped.
On getting to the Eko Atlantic City venue, NAIJ.com noticed that the weather had already shown signs of impending rainfall but many shrugged it off while praying that the rains stayed in the skies. The ambiance was already in the right mood. Vendors had their wares out, customers and fans were trooping in and the first of the opening acts were already on stage and a bevy of hype men (the official hosts were Jimmie and Folu Storms) were already doing their best to start the party. Mavin records producer Altims was the official DJ and even though his playlist wasn’t great, he managed to get the party started on the right note.
Falana’s performance with a live band and her ever present box drum intrigued many seeing that they were not used to performances of that nature. Nneka performed to a half responsive crowd who couldn’t understand what she was saying but instead chose to move their bodies to her music.
Simi on the other hand had a surprise for the fans as she came up to the stage supported by backup dancers. If you know Simi and her performance routine, then you’d know that she rarely ever performs with backing dancers. But at Gidifest, she wanted to do something different and it was while she was performing that it happened.
The sound went off and Simi and her dancers were left confused. But as true professionals, they immediately began working the crowd persuading them to sing along even though people couldn’t hear them. After a few minutes, they were defeated and gracefully they left the stage. After this, nothing was the same as the rains came slowly at first but later at a steady pace.
As expected, the crowd started to dissipate and one couldn’t blame them. Many were dressed for a party and when the rains came, their singlets and bum shorts offered little protection from the cold. For several minutes, the show organizers did not know what to do they could only organize polythene sheets to cover their instruments and get the official hosts Jimmie and Folu Storms to work the crowd.
Reekado Banks was the next performer but his croaky and cracked voice did little to sooth the crowd. Performances by other acts like BOJ, Pryse, ShowDemCamp and Niniola followed but the few who were still present wanted to see Davido, Burna Boy and Diplo.
They got their request as their wish was granted when Burna Boy finally took to stage. A major highlight of his performance was when he brought out Skales and together they sang their hit song Temper remix.
Omo baba olowo’s performance also lit up the crowd. Known for his penchant for documenting his life on Snapchat, many knew he had been in Yola, Adamawa state earlier in the day so his presence was really welcome. Save for issues with his DJ, Davido did well.
International DJ Diplo ended the show on a very good note and even though it took almost forever for his equipment to be set up, Diplo delivered. When he played re worked versions of Tekno’s Pana and Mr Eazi’s Legover, the sparse crowd reacted with joy. Tanzanian singer Vanessa Mdee and boy band Sauti Sol from Kenya who could not perform due to the absence of a live band also made appearances during his set. Diplo also gave a shoutout to BBNaija winner Efe by using his based on logistics slang.
If there was any error on the part of the organizers of GidiFest2017, it was that they did not make proper arrangements for rainfall. Perhaps a babalawo needs to be hired to prevent this type of occurrence in 2018.
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